Winter has officially set in now that the piling tank has been taken down. I spent the later part of this week removing all sorts of critters from the tank, cleaning the pilings and scrubbing the acrylic tank. The kelp crabs in the piling tank were released off our lower dock back into the kelp beds. All of the fish found temporary homes in other tanks.
Some of you may remember the 1 legged kelp crab in our hospital tank. I'm sorry to report that he died while trying to molt last week. After months and months of being hand fed, the small crab began molting. At first I was ecstatic to see his new appendages and hopeful that we would be able to put him back in one of the exhibit tanks. Sadly, the juvenile crab must have had trouble backing out of his carapace. Cheqa, our high school intern, and I gave him a truly heroic burial as we threw him down the hatch to return to the sea.
Photos courtesy of L. Jacobson: